Monday, September 30, 2002

Oh, Melinda Copper, how right you are. "The Age of Sensuality and Grace" is pretty much defined by paintings of cats in classical poses.

Also Animal Nobility.

Classics of Animal Art

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Murakami's new book, Kafka on the Shore, is a sequel to Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World. Now if they would just hurry up and translate it into English!

Brief interview at The Village Voice.

[via leuschke]

Saturday, September 28, 2002

The Big Movie Idea:

Remake Footloose, except this time everyone dies at the end. Except Kevin Bacon, who dies at the beginning. And take out all the music too. Especially that "Let's Hear it for the Boy" song.

All the fun-loving kids are forced to dance themselves to death in silence, in a grisly parody of a dance marathon, tibias eventually protruding through the skin of their horribly mangled legs. Too dark?

Maybe. Maybe too dark.

Also, remake Sleepless In Seattle, except this time everyone dies at the end.

A lot of movies could be greatly improved if everyone died at the end. No-one understands this very simple principle.

Tom Hanks, too, should die more.

Friday, September 27, 2002


Thursday, September 26, 2002

One final thing to complain about: my left pinky finger. Look, I'm not blaming you or anything, but couldn't you be a little more careful?
Also, since I'm generally complaining about things here, let me say that I spent a terrifying thirty seconds this morning trapped in the elevator of my apartment hive community with a guy who could not stop sneezing. I mean this guy really couldn't stop sneezing.

You know, when you sneeze a couple of times, and you think to yourself "Wow, that was a lot of sneezing right there! I'm lucky nothing else came out of me."? This guys must have sneezed eight times. EIGHT times! In thirty seconds.

I didn't know what to do. There was nowhere to run. I backed against the corner of the elevator and watched in silent horror, as my fellow elevatorer put his hand up to his nose and tried to stop what must have been a torrential flow of goo. It was like some Peckinpah shootout movie, with the sneezes replayed over and over and over in frame-by-frame.

The elevator is chrome or some kind of shiny metal on the inside, and that only magnified the horror: all around me were reflections of the sneeze! Repeated endlessly into infinity.

That guy was a sneezing machine.
Someone stole our cactus.

My fantasy is that our cactus wasn't stolen at all, that it somehow became animate, and squeezed its cactus roots out of the pot, padded down the corridor on them like tentacles, pressed the button on the elevator and was gone, like the wind. The fact that the pot is also gone casts some doubt on this theory. Unless (and I realize this is rather unlikely), having squeezed out of the pot, it then decided to use the pot as a jaunty hat, not unlike a sombrero.

This was a big cactus. We had had it for over ten years, and it had been handed down to us by people who had owned it for years before that. It was probably 3 feet tall.

Maybe, at this moment, it is riding a horse, out on the plains. Maybe today it is free. Maybe it is even fighting crime.

But I know that's not true.

Some asshole stole our cactus. People suck.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Just added a bunch of discs to the Music Trading List including

- A couple of REM collections
- A really great PJ Harvey show
- Tom Waits' Tales from the Underground 1-5
- 3 Palace discs
- The Dylan/Cash Skyline Sessions
- 1 Mogwai disc
Oh, Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its!

You are so nasty. So pleasingly nasty.

Come here, you vixens, and let me devour you. My hands shall be covered in cheese-slime, attracting insects and vermin, but I care not!

You rival Chikn-In-a-Biskit for sheer ickiness. Your somewhat cheese-like taste the product of some demented Sunshine employee, forever turned from God's path.

You are the coming of darkness, and the end of days!

Yes, my pretties. Yes.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Notes from my lunch with born-again friend:

- God has the Old Testament. Jesus has the New Testament. What about the Holy Ghost? No love for the Ghost?
- This is not a good thing to say to a born-again person: "I can understand being religious and all, but creationism? Does anyone really believe in that crap?"
- Also not a good thing to say to a born-again person: "All the fast food places have little things for you to stick on your antenna. Why don't they make a Jesus-on-the-Cross antenna buddy?"

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Malevole's Tribute to Ray Harryhausen

Remember the old days of Wheel of Fortune? When the arguably dim contestants would have to choose their prizes in a weird Shopping Death-March?

I loved that.

They'd buy the trip to Barbados, and the marginally crappy car, or whatever, and then the panic would start to set in. Somewhere on that little storefront stage there would be a ceramic elephant magazine holder, or a jaunty leopard-shaped lamp just waiting for them.

Someone has wasted more time than was probably justifiable on a page about just that*. Including the enigmatic Chuck Woolery griping about the prizes: "Did you see that print up close? Do you like it? You're just being polite...It's better than the other Chagall that we had. It was seventeen lizards sucking on an orange..."

I think Chuck Woolery may have been hopped up on goofballs. God knows I would have been if I was the host of Wheel of Fortune.

Oh man! They even have a page on the sets, and music!

*It's a nice feature of that page that the navigation features the phrase "What's your pleasure?", calling to mind the friendly Cenobites of Hellraiser fame. A Cenobite game show is really a natural though. Contestants could earn different pleasures of unendurable agony. The catch phrase "I'll tear your soul apart!" would go over big in middle America.

Pinhead could host:"Oh yes, Mrs. Eleanor Johnson. You've chosen Barbed Fishhooks Tearing Into Your Soft Underbelly While Your Eyes Are Drilled Out for $1000. Oh the delight!"

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

We're going to The Grand Canyon in a few weeks, and I'm working on a great strategy for annoying my wife.

Whenever I mention The Canyon, I will say it in one of two ways:

a. With a Cajun accent, thus "Thee CanYON!"


2. With an air of rueful regret, as if once, long ago, my life was ruined there, maybe by a pirate attack or a backstabbing double-agent. This is more challenging, but it can be accomplished by simply repeating the words "The Canyon" softly and staring wistfully into the distance. Perhaps a small shake of the head.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

A harrowing document of cat puke from my good friend Eeksy Peeksy.

I feel your pain, brother, having been the victim of a panicked "The cat is peeing on the rug! The cat is peeing on the rug!" telephone report.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Please, I beg you, don't see 13 Ghosts.

It may be too late for some of you out there, and in that case I apologize wholeheartedly that my warning did not reach you sooner.

And why? Why must I impart this vital information to you?

Because it really, really sucks. Maybe it's because we had just watched Don't Look Now, which just came out on DVD and is creepy as hell in spite of not being gory or loud and has Donald Sutherland in it, which is always a bonus, and you should be renting right this very minute. I don't know.

What sucked about 13 Ghosts? Only a few things:

- The writing
- The direction
- The plot
- The acting
- The acting again because it was so bad.
- The ghosts themselves
- Basically everything
- Oh wait, that guy was really awful.

You may think to yourself, after reading these lines, that 13 Ghosts isn't really all that bad, that I was just funning you, as the kids say. No. Just don't do it.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Also, I just caught some of the weirdest cartoon I've ever seen.

Food-ons. It's kind of like Pokemon, but with food monsters. The young boy hero whipped up a Fried Rice Warrior in this episode to do battle with the evil "Beefsteak" dragon.

Check out some of the characters.

Is there a moral? Are they selling rice or something? I can't wait for next week.
Tha baseball hung in the lights, turned ovoid by the spin from Barry Bonds' bat.

We went down to QualComm stadium last night to watch our Giants play the San Diego Padres, who are good at taking a beating. Of course, the Giants won, but the real highlight of the game occurred just after we arrived, having screamed down Interstate 5, past the border checkpoint, and pulling into the parking lot just after the first inning.

Whenever I go to a ballgame, I look at my seats and gauge the possiblity that I'll be able to catch a foul ball at the game. Sometimes you're sitting behind the screen behind home plate and there's just no chance. Sometimes you're under an overhang and the only way a ball could find its way up to you would be if it bounced off some poor unfortunate's head.

This time, our seats were on the third base line, the very first row of the loge level. That's the level right above field level. Great seats. We had the first row, which seemed to be the result of some clerical error. We were asked for our ticket stubs by ushers about four separate times, and when I asked about it one of them said that they don't sell the first row for safety reasons. We were sitting right behind the railing, and I guess I could see how some overexuberant fan could launch him/herself over the rail. You probably would't die falling from that height, but you'd at least break something. And the people you landed on probably wouldn't be too happy about it either.

So when we sat down in these seats, I thought "These are foul ball seats. I bet one comes over here." If you've gone to enough games and sat relatively close to home plate, you've seen a few fouls come your way. They always land in the next section, or a gang of kids swarms the area before you can even react. Sometimes, a lucky soul will make the catch, and get a cheer from the crowd. Sometimes, they'll miss dramatically, and the crowd will boo, good-naturedly of course. You look at the fan who made the catch, and think how they'll be boring people with that story for years to come. But the foul ball never comes right to you. It's always someone else.

The ball came off Barry Bonds' bat and shot up into the night sky. It was high, but not too high. When a foul comes toward you like that, you can see the distortion of the ball, from the spin and the impact of the bat. It gets sort of ovoid. This ball was doing that. It looked like it was going to land about five sections to our left, but then the spin kicked in and it started to bend back towards us. Moments like that later seem to have happed in stop-motion. I don't know if that's the result of growing up watching TV and movies, where grand moments are beamed at you in slow-mo, letting you see all the angles, the looks on the faces of the crowd as they spill their beer, the reflection of the ball in the eyes of a little kid at his first game.

But you couldn't argue about it now. The ball was coming for me. Right at me in a bending arc. And it was coming pretty fast.

I was there with my wife and a friend from work, another displaced Bay Area Giants fan. My wife had a full beer in her hand, and my friend had both a beer and a sandwich in his hands. These beers cost $7.25, so you're loath to spill them. I had secured my beer under the seat with Bonds coming to the plate. A left handed batter, and the Big Star. Bonds is larger than life. A man among boys. He is baseball, in a lot of ways. The arrogant star for whom everything is so easy.

I got up from my seat and stepped to the railing.

It was weird because whenever you see foul balls on TV, there are maybe twenty people pushing each other out of the way to get a piece of it. But this was just me. I don't know if it was because we were the only people sitting in that first row, or because of the strange arc of the ball, making people think it wouldn't curve over to us, but no-one else even tried for it. My wife, I'm sure, was ducking. My friend didn't even react. I was right at the railing, thinking, "It'll come down on the field level. It can't make it up here."

And now it was coming down right into my hands. I put my hands out like I was catching a football. I didn't think about it. I figured I was leaning just enough out over the railing to get it. I didn't want to fall over and get hurt, after all.

All of a sudden I thought about the ball sitting on my desk at work. Or at home. People would see it and ask what the significance of the ball was. And I'd tell them how it was like winning the lottery. In a stadium with 25,000 other people, this ball was mine, as sure as if Rawlings had printed my name on it at the factory. People would hear the story and think how lucky I was, how they'd been going to games their whole lives and never had a chance like that. I wondered if I should get one of those glass dome things for it.

And then the ball was there.

I don't know if I even touched it. It went right through my hands, that's for sure. Bounced off the railing with a resounding clang and down onto field level as a chorus of boos began from the crowd.

I can't catch. I guess I have to accept that. Just for a minute, though, I thought I could be the guy on the highlight reel who leans out and makes the grab.

And maybe that minute was worth it, anyway.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

For no reason at all:

First, the sumptuous weirdness of Lasso Guy with Eiffel Tower.

And who could not be moved by the purely nonsensical Masked Wrestler with Chicken?

For timeless oddness though, it's hard to beat Frogs in Top Hats

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Monday, September 09, 2002


Share in our efforts to save these endangered animals. They have very special needs, as they come from a unique environment. Not only does quality care take hard work and dedication - it's expensive! As an adopter for a year, your contribution will help ensure a bright future for these beautiful and remarkable animals.

Bush Babies are on special. But I kid. Sounds like a great cause.
Lemur Sights & Sounds
This song has been stuck in my head all day, which is kind of weird because I can't remember the last time I actually heard it.

The band, Mental As Anything, is apparently still around.
I often tell people I am from Madagascar, and will fight them to the death if they don't believe me, in scenes similar to the final fight sequences of Kung Fu movies in which the hero's shirt always comes off and the combatants are magically transported to a beach with no explanation.

I have even gone so far as to claim scars from childhood injuries are in fact lemur toothmarks.

The whole entire reason for telling people this is that I always liked having Madagascar when I played Risk. It was one of the spots on the map that seemed really ineffectual, and made you wonder why they even put it there. There should really be an optional rule for Risk which states that when you have three armies left, and you're cowering in Western Australia, about to be crushed by an army of black plastic Roman Numerals so immense that it doesn't even fit on Siam anymore, your armies can hop in a boat and sail off to Madagascar, to live out your days in peace.

I like to think that the inventors of the game had a soft spot for Madagascar. I bet when they were making the game, whenever they mentioned Madagascar, they'd look at each other and say in a hushed and reverential tone "The Land That Time Forgot!"

Madagascar is one of the only countries that has a built-in subtitle like that, and ranks second in public TV and Animal Planet documentaries only to Galapagos, land of needlessly large turtles.

And don't even bother getting all pedantic and telling me they're tortoises, because I'll just ignore you.
My god! linked my blog.

Evhead is the blog of the president/CEO of Pyra Labs, the creators and operators of Blogger.

As Roy Batty so nicely put it "It's not an easy thing to meet your maker." Now I'm going to have to force Ev to give me the incept dates, or there'll be trouble.

But wait! I'm an agnostic.

And so is my blog. My blog doesn't believe in the existence of Evan Williams, but believes there is no order to its universe. It and all the other blogs exist in a perpetual state of chaos, with no higher purpose or unified hand guiding them. Secretly, it wants to believe in the existence of an omnipotent Evan Williams, but it just can't convince itself to take that leap of faith.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Songs with Parentheses

I kind of miss songs with parentheses. That's all. Like "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight". They had that certain flair. I mean, can you imagine how the world would be different today if The Cutting Crew had named their opus "Died In Your Arms Tonight"? It doesn't bear thinking about. I might even suggest the title would be improved if they added more parentheses thus: "(I Just) Died In Your Arms (Tonight)".

So, if you are one of these rockin and rollin types with a band and all, please think about including needless parentheses in your song titles.

Thank you.
You know who's really good to make fun of?

Steven Seagal, that's who.

When you make little snipey comments about him, it helps you to grow and develop as a person, because in spite of the fact that Steven Seagal could probably beat your punk ass into a quivering mass of tears and regret, there's no way he would ever know. You know what else is great? There is virtually no chance that anyone will admit to liking Steven Seagal movies enough to argue with you.

But wait, Mr. Seagal is apparently The Action Lama. This turns out to be a Buddhist reincarnation thing and not a llama on rocket skates or something, which is kind of disappointing.

Action Lama playing drums.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

We watched Klaus Kinski: My Best Fiend last night, Werner Herzog's documentary about his work with Kinski. Really an excellent look at the actor through the eyes of Herzog, who is a little nutty himself, though not quite as much so as Kinski was. There are some great bits like Herzog nonchalantly mentioning his plan to kill Kinski by burning down his house.

What you really come away with is the sense that Kinski really invented himself, became a crazy magnetic juggernaut, bigger than life. The film begins with footage from his "Jesus Tour", a one man show in which he took the part of Jesus and basically ranted at the crowd, and closes with a very moving shot of him with a butterfly flapping around his head, Kinski with a beatific look on his face.

There are a lot of great behind the scenes sequences from Fitzcarraldo (many of which I had already seen in the wonderful documentary Burden of Dreams) and Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

More on Kinski: Klaus Encounters with some great images, a complete filmography, and also a nice Cineaste interview with Herzog..


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